Rob Mackillop's albums The Flower of the Forest, and The Healing have been long time favorites of mine. Early on they inspired me to committed study of the Scottish lute repertoire. His book, The Scottish Guitar is filled with wonderful arrangements from The Balcarres Lute Book, which are also present in these album titles. For this suite I have selected a few of his arrangement that I have held close in past years. This self-titled suite, Still Raining, has served as a tool to help in personal rebalancing in mind, body, and spirit. The works heard are: The Chancellor's Farewell, Port Atholl and The Lord Aboins Air. The fourth piece, I wish I were where Helen Lyes, is an arrangement from Ronn McFarlane's book The Highland King. I have also paired the work with and a field recording by Ryan Worthley, thank you, Ryan.
(This is also the first recording on a guitar I recently inherited. A beautiful Austurias guitar. The guitar has been "voiced" by Japanese luthier Masuro Mutano, and as a result has a very warm and rounded sound. The instrument spent its early days playing the tunes of Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, and John Denver, in the hands of my grandmother, Jackie Jambor. Her energy and spirit remains in the instrument, and has a presence in my hands that no other instrument on this earth could offer. It is now it living a second life, for now in the ancient music of Scotland). Peace, love, and music - Neal.
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